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Mother of BlissAnandamayi Ma (1896–1982)$
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Lisa Lassell Hallstrom

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195116489

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195116489.001.0001

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(p.3) One Introduction
Mother of Bliss

Lisa Lassell Hallstrom

Oxford University Press

Western feminist theologians have wondered about how our lives would have been had we been raised to look up to God as an all-loving and all-powerful mother. As such a thought brings about ideas regarding ancient goddess cultures, there have been notions to re-associate ancient goddesses of various traditions with the creation of alternative models of an Ultimate Reality that integrates the female experience. These notions veer away from a patriarchal image of God and move towards a more compassionate female image which would promote a more humane and balanced society that, more importantly, empowers women as well. In India, where goddess worship is considered a tradition, people would see the Goddess as a personification of shakti, despite the seemingly inferior status given to women. This book concentrates on Ānandamayī Mā, whose life defies the generalization about inferior Hindu women and demonstrates rather constrasting themes in Hindu tradition.

Keywords:   Ānandamayī Mā, Hindu women, inferior status, goddess worship, India, image of God, female

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